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In focus: Matthew Upson

31 July 2015 takes a look at the career of experienced defender Matthew Upson, who has joined the Club on a one-year deal.

Born in Suffolk, Upson began his footballing journey with Ipswich Town before joining Luton Town as a trainee in 1994.

He signed his first professional contract with the Hatters two years later and in August 1996 he made his senior debut in a Division Two clash against Rotherham United at Kenilworth Road.

Then, after making just one appearance for Luton, Upson joined Arsenal for a deal reported to be worth £2 million.

Upson made 57 appearances during his time with the Gunners, helping them lift the Premier League trophy in 2001/02.

During his time at Highbury, Upson was sent out on loan on a number of occasions – he enjoyed spells at Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and lastly Reading, where he scored his first senior goal.

After five-and-a-half seasons with Arsenal, Upson made a permanent switch to Birmingham City in January 2003 for a reported fee of £1 million.

Upson’s form following his move to St. Andrews saw him earn his first call-up to the England team in May 2003 - he was used off the bench in the Three Lions’ friendly with South Africa before also featuring from the start in the matches against Serbia & Montenegro and Slovakia in June.

The defender spent four years in the Midlands, totalling 128 appearances, before he made a move to West Ham United in January 2007 for a rumoured cost of around £6 million.

It was during his time with the Hammers that Upson re-established himself in the England set-up and in November 2008 he netted his first international goal in a 2-1 victory over Germany.

Upson’s continued good performances at Upton Park saw him named in Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad in 2010. While in South Africa, he made two appearances in central defence and scored England’s only goal in the round of 16 loss to Germany.

In August 2011, Upson left West Ham for Stoke City after featuring 145 times for Hammers in three-and-a-half years.

He made 23 appearances in his first season with the Potters before moving to Championship outfit Brighton & Hove Albion on loan at the start of the 2012/13 campaign, helping the Seagulls reach the play-offs.

Upson impressed in East Sussex and joined Brighton on a permanent deal the following summer. Once again, he helped the seaside club reach the play-offs and his impressive performances saw him recognised with the Player of the Year honour at their Awards night.

In May 2014, Upson returned to the Premier League with newly-promoted Leicester City. He made five top flight appearances last season for the Foxes, as well as one in the FA Cup, before leaving upon the expiry of his contract this summer.

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